What is a Mental Game Really

By David BreslowMarch 13, 2009, 4:00 pm
As the weekly Mental Game Columnist for The Golf Channel and performance coach to amateurs and pros around the world, I know that most are familiar with the phrase, The Mental Game and when asked about it, they all believe its important.
The truth? Very few of them formally develop it.
The reason?
What they tell me most often is they are confused by the amount of information out there and as a result, dont know where to begin. In addition, they dont want to spend money being told to be confident and be more positive. These reasons make sense when you look at it. There is a lot of vague and repetitive information about the so called, mental game out there. Just about every article, every book and television program tells you the same thing, its important to be confident, have fun, not be so serious and be positive. All good advice, right? Well of course it is but as my clients tell me, Ive tried all that stuff already and it doesnt work!
What they really mean is that it doesnt LAST. Most of my clients report, the quick-fix tips, dont last that long. No wonder people are confused and dont know where to begin!
You see, those quick-fix tips arent wrong in fact they make a lot of sense the problem is; they are the outcomes everyone wants to experience but they are NOT THE WAY TO GET THERE. The important question is: WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO GET THERE? I can tell you this hearing them or reading them is not the best way.
Ive got a much better idea. Why not discover that there are fundamental and unbiased and undeniable laws and principles that govern your outcomes. Thats right, just like your swing results are based on very undeniable and predictable laws that will affect your outcomes your game is governed by laws too!
Try this. If I asked you to rate how much of your game is mental, using a scale from 0 to 100% ... what would you say? I polled 250 golfers ranging from professional to amateur and heres what they said: their answers ranged from 10 to 90%
What if I suggested to you that the answer is really 100%?
I can hear the anguish now. What about mechanics and managing the course? Dont worry ' its covered.
In order to get faster and longer lasting changes and results, I dont follow the traditional model with its quick-fix tips, vague concepts or hard to untangle theories. After all, dont you already know that being positive and confident is better than being negative or lacking confidence? Of course you do. Why would I tell you what you already know? Its simple, the 'Mental Game' has 3 components to it and they are:
The Mind
The Body
The Emotions
And now the proof.
Heres why I say the answer is 100%. Every time you put your hands on the golf club ALL THREE OF THESE COMPONENTS ARE IN PLAY! I dare you to find a time when this is not true. You wont. You cant because you CANNOT SEPERATE THEM. So, heres what Id like you to know. There are predictable and undeniable laws and principles that govern how your mind, body and emotions function to produce outcomes for you on the golf course (and off!).
Heres an analogy. Imagine yourself to be a world class musician (lets say a pianist). With all your talent, skill and knowledge if you play a piano that is out of tune you wont ' play great music. You could learn more, practice more and improve your skills but when you try to play an out of tune piano it wont matter it will still not play great music. The problem is that golfers are trying to play better music (meaning better golf) on an instrument that is out of tune. The instrument is you and tools that make it work are the mind, body and emotions. Put them back in tune (or in sync) and you will improve!
Now heres your choice.
You can read articles, try new tips and get the results you always get or you can learn what the laws and principles are and begin creating more of what you want instead of just getting better at coping with what you dont want. This is what most people do they ' get better at coping with what they dont want. Those who create more of what they do want tend to perform better and enjoy it more!
Oh, and heres some more interesting news about the laws. They affect everyone, everywhere and at all times. It doesnt matter what your age, gender, personality type or skill level is. THERE ARE NO EXCEPTIONS!
Some more proof? Take the law of gravity. Do you think it functions differently for you than it does for Tiger Woods or Paula Creamer? Of course not. In fact, gravity (and all the laws) functions regardless of your opinion of it. If you dont believe me, hold a pen over your head and repeat, I dont believe in gravity three times and really mean it. Open your fingers and see what happens.
The Laws are real. Theyve always been running the show and they always will.
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    David Breslow is a National Speaker, Author and Performance Consultant. His book, Wired To Win is available at 888.280.7715. David works with clients all over the world via telephone so it doesnt matter where you live, work or play! His clients include professional athletes (PGA, LPGA and other sports), juniors and all amateurs. He also works with Businesses of all sizes. He brings a fresh, direct, no-nonsense revolutionary approach to Human Performance, helping people make quicker and more powerful shifts in attitude, behavior and action. David is the weekly Mental Game Columnist for Golf Channel where his articles are read by over 4000,000 people. For more info please visit: www.theflowzone.net, email: daviddavid@theflowzone.net or call: 847.681.0247
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    Fleetwood flawless en route to Abu Dhabi lead

    By Will GrayJanuary 18, 2018, 2:06 pm

    New year, same results for Tommy Fleetwood.

    The reigning Race to Dubai champ picked up where he left off in the opening round of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, carding a bogey-free 66 during which the Englishman found all 18 greens in regulation. At 6 under, he shares the lead with Japan's Hideto Tanihara and sits one shot clear of five other players.

    "Very stress-free. Played really well from start to finish," Fleetwood said. "Felt like I did what you need to do around this golf course, which is drive it well, hit your irons solid. You can't really be too greedy a lot of the time, and then sort of my pace putting was really good. So basically just did what you need to do to get a good score around this golf course, and I got one."

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    Fleetwood shined in a marquee grouping that included world No. 1 Dustin Johnson and Rory McIlroy, as he birdied three holes on each nine. This is his first worldwide start since a T-3 finish at the Hero World Challenge.

    It was at this event a year ago that Fleetwood sparked a career campaign, edging Johnson and Pablo Larrazabal for the win. He added another win at the French Open in the summer to go along with a pair of runner-up results and a T-4 finish at the U.S. Open, all of which helped him capture the European Tour's season-long title.

    Fleetwood's sudden success in Abu Dhabi serves as a microcosm for his career resurgence. Prior to last year's victory, he had missed the cut in four of his five other trips to this event.

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    Sergio starts season with 66 in Singapore

    By Associated PressJanuary 18, 2018, 12:56 pm

    SINGAPORE – Sergio Garcia opened his season with a 5-under 66 and a share of the clubhouse lead on Thursday in the first round of the weather-interrupted Singapore Open.

    Playing his first tournament of the year, the Masters champion rebounded after making an early bogey to collect four birdies and an eagle at the Sentosa Golf Club.

    He was later joined by American qualifier Kurt Kitayama in the clubhouse lead. Still on the course, Tirawat Kaewsiribandit was at 6 under through 16 holes when play was suspended for the day because of the threat of lightning.

    Louis Oosthuizen, the 2010 Open champion, was at 5 under through 16 holes when he also had to stop his round because of the weather.

    Of the players who did finish their opening rounds, only three were within two strokes of Garcia and Kitayama. One of them was Casey O'Toole, who aced the par-3 second with a 7-iron.

    The 38-year-old Garcia dropped his only shot of the day on the par-4 15th, his sixth hole after teeing off on the back nine, when he missed the fairway and was unable to make par. But he made amends when he birdied the par-3 17th and then eagled the par-5 18th to go out in 33.

    ''I was 1 over after (the) seventh but it didn't feel like I was playing badly,'' said Garcia, who made birdies on each of the two par 5s and one of the par 3s on the second nine. ''But then I hit two greats in a row for holes 17 and 18. I got a birdie-eagle there, so that settled me a little bit and I could play solid in the back nine and it was a great round.''

    Garcia made the shortlist for the Laureus Sports Awards in the Breakthrough of the Year category after claiming his first major at Augusta National last year and is hoping for more success this season.

    He credits the Singapore Open as having played a part in toughening him up for his Masters win because he opted to start his 2017 campaign in the stifling humidity of Southeast Asia to prepare himself for the bigger tournaments ahead.

    Although he finished tied for 11th in Singapore, Garcia won the Dubai Desert Classic the next week and was in peak form when he won the Masters two months later.

    Kitayama only secured his place in the $1 million event on Monday by finishing at the top of the qualifying competition, but he made a strong start with birdies on three of his first five holes. The 25-year-old Thai was 6 under through 13 holes but spoiled his otherwise flawless round with a bogey on his last.

    ''I started with a birdie and I just let it roll from there. I had some good tee shots, which I think, is the biggest thing for this course,'' Kitayama said. ''I'm a little tired, but I'm hanging in there. Whenever I have time off, I'll try not to think too much about golf.''

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    13-year-old beats DJ in closest-to-the-pin contest

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:26 pm

    Dustin Johnson didn’t just get beat by Tommy Fleetwood and Rory McIlroy on Day 1 of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

    Even a 13-year-old got the best of the world No. 1.

    Oscar Murphy teed off on the 177-yard 15th hole as part of the tournament’s Beat the Pro challenge during the opening round. The Northern Irishman, one of the HSBC’s Future Falcons, carved a 3-wood toward a back-right pin, about 25 feet away, closer than both Johnson and Fleetwood.

    “An unbelievable shot,” Fleetwood said afterward, “and me and Rory both said, ‘We don’t have that in our locker.’”

    Johnson still made par on the hole, but he mixed four birdies with four bogeys Thursday for an even-par 72 that left him six shots back of Fleetwood and Hideto Tanihara after the opening round.

    Johnson, who tied for second here a year ago, is coming off a dominant performance at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, where he won by eight shots to strengthen his lead atop the world rankings. 

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    McIlroy 'really pleased' with opening 69 in Abu Dhabi

    By Ryan LavnerJanuary 18, 2018, 12:10 pm

    It was an auspicious 2018 debut for Rory McIlroy.

    Playing alongside world No. 1 Dustin Johnson for his first round since October, McIlroy missed only one green and shot a bogey-free 69 at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship. McIlroy is three shots back of reigning Race to Dubai champion Tommy Fleetwood, who played in the same group as McIlroy and Johnson, and Hideto Tanihara.

    Starting on the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club, McIlroy began with 11 consecutive pars before birdies on Nos. 3, 7 and 8.

    Full-field scores from the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship

    “I was excited to get going,” he told reporters afterward. “The last couple of months have been really nice in terms of being able to concentrate on things I needed to work on in my game and health-wise. I feel like I’m the most prepared for a season that I’ve ever been, but it was nice to get back out there.”

    Fleetwood, the defending champion, raced out to another lead while McIlroy and Johnson, who shot 72, just tried to keep pace.

    “Tommy played very well and I was just trying to hang onto his coattails for most of the round, so really pleased – bogey-free 69, I can’t really complain,” McIlroy said.

    This was his first competitive round in more than three months, since a tie for 63rd at the Dunhill Links. He is outside the top 10 in the world ranking for the first time since 2014.